Dos and Don'ts of Looking For a Home in Another Country

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 27 January 2015 08:54

It’s not uncommon for families to be looking to buy property abroad. In many places, the price of a property abroad is peanuts, when you compare it to UK house prices. It’s easy to go abroad on holiday and fall in love with a country. On the other hand, you may just want to make an investment overseas, and bricks and mortar is a safe bet (plus, you will have your very own holiday home). Regardless, whatever your drive is, it can be challenging to search for houses when they are not easily accessible to you. You can’t just keep jumping on a plane to scope out prospective homes!

Know the Market

Houses are always going up and down in value, no matter where you are in the world. Get to know the market where you plan to live and don’t make the mistake of thinking that property values change similarly across countries. As a foreigner, you may be limited in what you are allowed to buy, so make sure that you find out if there are any restrictions. You want to avoid any scams that could leave you penniless, so find a reputable road into property purchasing.

Also look into the financial stability of the country you want to buy property in, as well as the exchange rate. This information might influence your decisions in the future.

Estate Agents and Other Help

You can often get great deals by buying directly from the owner, but this approach is littered with landmines. Using an estate agent can protect you from pitfalls and provide you with a layer of safety. You also may struggle alone, if you don’t know the language well. Estate agents have an obligation to make sure that you know what is going on with your property purchase.

You may even want to seek legal advice, when it comes to making your property purchase watertight and covering your back, just in case something happens. A lawyer’s advice can be invaluable, when it comes to navigating an unfamiliar legal system.

Get Everything Professionally Translated

Don’t sign anything until your contracts are translated into your native language. You need to understand everything that you are signing, otherwise you might find yourself in trouble later on down the line. Carefully read contracts before signing, and don’t proceed unless you are clear on every point. It’s better to ask a lot of questions than sign your soul away.

Mortgage Payments

Once you have agreed all of the contractual necessities, you will need to arrange a transfer of funds to pay for your property. Obviously, you will want the best currency exchange that you can get, so avoid your bank (you won’t get a good rate here). Instead, go through a currency transfer service, so you don’t lose a hefty amount of money.

Money Leftover

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need money left over to furnish your home, otherwise it’s just a shell! There are plenty of guides online for what you’ll need, if you need a comprehensive list of items to purchase, but this one is great for the kitchen.

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